(Boise, ID) – The Utah Grizzlies netted three third-period goals Friday night to defeat the Idaho Steelheads, 4-2, in the pre-season opener for both teams at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
The game drew a crowd of over 3,000 in Idaho’s second-annual “Season-Ticket Holder Only” game.
The two starting goaltenders, Jimmy Spratt for Idaho and Andrew Engelage for Utah, kept the slate clean through one period. Idaho struck first early in the second period. At the 1:47 mark, Chad Klassen took a beautiful back-door pass from Cam Ritchie and slid the puck past Engelage to give Idaho a 1-0 lead.
Utah struck just over a minute later when former Steelhead Matt Sorteberg buried a shot from the far circle, knotting the game at one.
It would remain that way into the third period before Utah broke the game open. Matt Reber scored on a nice wrap-around goal at 3:23 of the third to put Utah up, 2-1. Chris Donovan scored in transition at 11:51 to make it 3-1 and CJ Severyn knocked home a short-handed tally at 14:44 to give the visiting Grizzlies a 4-1 lead.
Michael Neal drew Idaho closer with a top-shelf tally with less than a minute to play, but Idaho could get no closer.
Spratt turned aside 20 of 21 shots through two periods before giving way to rookie Thomas Speer. Speer stopped six of nine shots in his first appearance for Idaho. Engelage went the distance for Utah, stopping 20 of 22 Idaho shots. Neither team scored on the power play, Idaho going 0-3 and Utah going 0-2.
The same two teams play again Saturday night in Logan, UT, to conclude their respective pre-season schedules.
Steelhead Season-Ticket Holders get six games FREE when they sign up for full-season packages. Plans for all 36 home games start at just $275 per seat. Partial-season plans are also available, with the home-opener coming on October 15 against the Utah Grizzlies. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.